UPDATE 2-New Anadarko find may stoke battle for partner Cove

Tue May 15, 2012 2:33am EDT

* New Mozambique discovery may hold over 20 Tcf of gas

* Partner Cove has agreed bid by Shell, others seen interested

By Tom Bergin

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - U.S. explorer Anadarko Petroleum Corp has discovered a major new gas field offshore Mozambique in a move that could stoke a bid battle for one of its partners, Cove Energy.

Anadarko said on Tuesday the Golfinho discovery in northern Mozambique may hold more than 20 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas, and would underpin a plan to develop a world class liquefied natural gas export operation in Mozambique.

Houston-based Anadarko's partners in the find include Japan's Mitsui and Indian groups Bharat Petroleum and Videocon, as well as UK-listed Cove Energy, whose directors last month agreed a takeover from Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell made a $1.8 billion bid that includes a commitment to cover a tax bill, which Shell's Chief Financial Officer said pushed the bid's value to $2 billion.

Shell's bid trumped a $1.8 billion bid from Thailand's PTT that preceded the announcement of the tax liability.

Cove's shares have traded above Shell's 220 pence per share bid in recent weeks, after some hedge funds bought into the stock hoping for a counterbid from PTT or another party.

Golfinho is 32 kilometres from the partners' Prosperidade find, whose reserves could top 30 Tcf. Anadarko said it hopes to begin LNG exports later this decade.

Big oil companies including Exxon Mobil, Norway's Statoil, UK-based BG Group have begun exploring along the eastern coast of Africa in recent years, targeted major gas reserves.

Currently Mozambique and Tanzania produce only small volumes of gas.

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
sligoo wrote:
Perhaps the company with the largest acreage position offshore Mozambique is Italy’s Eni SpA (E) in the Rovuma Basis Area 4. Anadarko is a good investment, Eni is better.

May 15, 2012 8:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.